Ford Freestyle Maintenance and Repair



  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    "But no such luck. No matter what I tried to do, I could not get the interior lights to not go on when I opened the hatch. It seems that I have to let the car sit unlocked for some undefined but extended period of time in order to be able to open the rear hatch without the interior lights going on.

    If I ever get this figured out, I'll let you know."

    Well, there is the old, obvious low-tech solution. Either tape the switch down (if it protrudes), or trace the wiring down the side of the car and install a switch on the hot wire, assuming the wiring for such a switch could be routed to a $2 toggle switch set into the plastic at the rear of the vehicle, or something.
  • manasotamanasota Member Posts: 28
    I bought the remote starter which was added on as an option at the time of purchase. It unlocks all the doors when you turn off the ignition not to mention starting the car up to 1/4 mile away through a block wall. If you like your car, you will love it after you install one of these. Nothing like climbing into a cool car when it's 90+ degrees. :)
  • nitromaxnitromax Member Posts: 640
    thanks for the insight.

    I brought it to my Ford dealer soon after posting that message and the technicians had no idea what it was. They were talking about me dropping it off for the day and they would replace the patch with a new one on. They also said that it would need to be painted to match and blah, blah, blah.
    I kept insisting that it looked to me like a simple stick-on patch and said it should be as simple as peeling this one off and putting on a new one. They replied with "oh, no....this is special from the factory and it needs to be done the right way or it will not look right.

    The patch does appear to be color coded to my gray paint but I would think that Ford would carry these in stock for the different body colors.

    At this point It's not that big of a deal and I'll probably just leave it. I'm certainly not going to leave my car for a day or two at a dealer because of it.
    I definately will look into just replacing it with some clear 3m plastic as you suggested.

  • tfloriotflorio Member Posts: 4
    Does anybody know the exact location of the front seats side air bag location?
    I put some sheepskin seatcovers on and I would like to make a cut out or a slice in the cover to allow the bag to deploy. I've gotten several different answers from dealers and seatcover people so I'm not sure what to do. Any advice? Thanks.
  • kendallgfkendallgf Member Posts: 2
    We recently purchased an '05 Freestyle SE AWD. We just noticed last night (first time driving at night / cooler outside temp.) the feeling of warm air coming from the lower floor ducts while the vehicle was in motion -- this was with the A/C system OFF. According to the manual all outside air flow is supposed to be shut off when the A/C system is OFF.

    Has anyone else noticed this? Should we have it checked by the dealership?

    Thanks for any information on this.

  • nitromaxnitromax Member Posts: 640
    It's probably just a positive airflow feature. My RSX has the same thing. What it does is constantly flow fresh air through the cabin while the vehicle is in motion. It prevents build up of carbon monoxide gases in the case of an exhaust leak.

    Don't sweat it. It's fine.
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,989
    You said the A/C was off. What about the vent setting? Was it set to direct air to the feet? Unless you turn the vent to the Off position, then there will be air blowing out even if the A/C is off. The fan doesn't have an Off position, so as long as the vent is on you'll feel air, warm air based on your temp setting.
  • kendallgfkendallgf Member Posts: 2
    I didn't know there was an Off setting for the vent selection. I didn't mention before that our Freestyle has the optional electronic climate control system, which according to the manual when you press OFF it shuts down the blower and closes the outside air intake.

    I am also wondering if this airflow is a "passive" feature as nitromax mentioned -- I think our old Honda Accord (1990) did this as well. I'd just like to know for sure if that's what's going on as we're planning to take the vehicle for its first big trip in a few weeks.

    Thanks for the replies!

  • puckyhuddlepuckyhuddle Member Posts: 52
    Yesterday while travelling on the thruway about 70mph, my wife took off her passenger seatbelt to get something in the back seat. The "passenger airbag off" warning light came on almost immediately (center dash below vents). It went back off a minute or two later - can't recall if she had re-fastened her seat belt. Is this a glitch, or is this supposed to happen? Thanks.
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Member Posts: 468
    Completely normal. Refer to pages 137-139 in the owner's manual.
  • vicenacvicenac Member Posts: 229
    With the optional "auto air", when the system is OFF, not just the AC (Press the OFF button located under the AUTO button - the entire screen will turn OFF) there should be no air coming into the vehicle. It gets a little sweaty inside. However if you just pressed the AC button to turn the AC OFF, depending on the temperature setting, your climate control unit will still bring air in.

    And actually I have a question of my own. The manual says that the climate control or AC should never be turned off to prevent the build up of humidity inside the vehicle. I assume that it's ok to have it off when riding with the windows opened.
    My question is - should I manually turn off the AC when I want heat? I noticed that if I set the temperature to let's say 80 degrees, the heat comes in, but also the AC stays on. Don't the heat and AC conflict with each other?
  • puckyhuddlepuckyhuddle Member Posts: 52
    Thanks. I'm guilty of laziness... I'll check the manual.
  • puckyhuddlepuckyhuddle Member Posts: 52
    Anyone notice a subtle noise in the rear when the brakes are applied? You can hear it when the peddle is pressed when coming to a stop, and again when starting from a stop. Doesn't sound so much like a rotating wheel noise, but more like an engage/release noise (if that makes any sense). Thanks.
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Member Posts: 468
    Is your Freestyle an AWD model? If so, this could be a normal sound specific to the AWD Freestyle.
  • puckyhuddlepuckyhuddle Member Posts: 52
    No, it's a FWD
  • nechama770nechama770 Member Posts: 2
    Do you think we have any hope of Ford addressing this issue. The glare is a major safety issue and I think they should address it in some way. I saw a BMW wagon next to me in a lot today and the pebble color inside was topped with a black built-in dash mat that looked real neat. Curved around the wheel and dials and blocked all of the glare. I think Ford needs to deal with this.

  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,989
    I notice I get more brake dust on the driver's side rear wheel than on either front wheel. Is this a sign of something wrong? Just wondering because on my other car with four wheel disc brakes, I get the majority of the dust on the front two wheels, which makes sense because that's where the majority of the braking occurs.
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Member Posts: 468
    I've noticed this as well, but I'm at a loss to explain it. What could possibly be unique to the left-rear wheel that would cause this?
  • hokietadhokietad Member Posts: 5
    I guess if the car was 10 years old I'd find that funny, but since I've only had it a month my sense of humor is off-kilter. I've had the blend-air door actuator replaced and the bang stopped for a while. It started up again this morning.

    I guess if anyone else has had this problem I'd have gotten a response by now. Hopefully one more usefull than that posted by dgulino.

  • dzdncnfzddzdncnfzd Member Posts: 34
    You may want to check the brake pads to see if they are wearing at the same rate as the pads on the passenger rear. If it is wearing faster there may be a design flaw that may cause the driver rear to not fully disengage. I bet that would hurt your gas mileage.

    Do both of you have AWD? I wonder if the traction control is improperly detecting slippage on the left rear tire and is using the left rear brake to send power to the other three tires causing excessive wear.

    To check this theory, you can clean the rim and determine how long it takes for break dust to accumulate. Then disable traction control and see if the dust accumulates at the same rate.
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Member Posts: 468
    No AWD here, but I do have Traction Control. I'll try turning it off like you have suggested and we'll see if there's a diiference.
  • dzdncnfzddzdncnfzd Member Posts: 34
    Without AWD, I don't know if turning off traction control will help. In FWD traction control SHOULD only affect the front two tires.

    But then again, if the same traction control system is shared between AWD and FWD it may still try to correct any erroneously detected slippage on the rear wheel.
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Member Posts: 468
    If you want heat, turn off the ac. Use of the compressor just uses more gas.
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Member Posts: 468
    If you have FWD, the traction control does not have any effect on the rear wheels.Perhaps your rear pads need adjusting.
  • reennee1reennee1 Member Posts: 1
    I love my 05 FS AWD - I traded in my :lemon: Chrysler Pacifica for this car.

    So far - I've had a windshield leak, which the dealership farmed out to a local company to fix. The fix was to pry up the windshield along the top and add more glue. Needless to say, that didn't work. So the dealership opted to replace the entire windshield by the same local company (I found this out afterwards). So far, it seems ok.

    I have been hearing an intermittent "clunk" coming from the front end, especially if I'm on an incline and I accelerate from a stop. Has anyone else heard this kind of a clunk? :confuse:
  • volfangaryvolfangary Member Posts: 105
    Had my defective 6 cd radio replaced today. Took less than 30 minutes for the change out. So far the new radio appears to be working properly The original one never worked right from the beginning. It wouldn't play MP3's and store bought CD's skipped bad. The new one plays both real well. I'm not any expert, but I swear the new one even has better sound. Display is also brighter. Maybe someone is listening to customer comments about dim display and poor sound and they have made some changes. It took almost 3 weeks for new radio to come in. You would think they would be able to get one faster!
  • igot12igot12 Member Posts: 7
    Hi guys, purchased my SEL 09/05/05. I Love this Car. I Named him Issy. Because of the SUV vs Wagon debates I've read. Is he a SUV, Is he a Wagon. Don't care what you call Issy, I Love it. :)

    However, after a week of driving, I have noticed an occasional noise coming from the rear of the car when making a turn from an uneven surface onto another surface. To me it sounds like something has bound up then suddenly releases in a thud. It happened about 4 times. I took Issy to the dealership to have it checked out. On the way, I tried to find a location where the noise would happen every time but couldn't. I let them take it for a drive and thankfully they heard the noise. They checked a few things out but they said they had to tear down the rear suspension. I went over and told Issy the news. I stroked the dashboard and assured that everthing was going to be OK that the nice technician was going to fix him. :sick:

    DAY 1. The next morning I get a call from the technician. They tore down the suspension and didn't find anything. Took it for run and still heard the noise. They took two other FS for a test and did'nt hear the noise. Call again tomorrow.

    Day 2. They got on the phone with the engineers for help. The engineers gave them a list of things to chech out, still the noise occures. Call again tomorrow.

    Day 3. Still doing diagnostics with the engineers. Everything they try doesn't get rid of the noise. Call again tomorrow.

    Day 4. Putting microphones in and around the rear. So the egineers can can listen to the noise. Call Monday.

    Has anyone had a similiar noise? I MISS ISSY !! :cry: ">
  • cmunizcmuniz Member Posts: 604
    Thanks for the info..........that's good news. It has been 3 weeks since they ordered mine and it still has not come in. Maybe next week. It is on back-order due to high demand for replacements according to the dealer.

    On another note, just got back from a 3,000 mile trip and the Freestyle was flawless. Great ride and the versatile interior came in very handy - from hauling 6 adults to all sorts of cargo. Averaged 23.6 mpg on mostly highway driving with a little city driving mixed in.
  • cmunizcmuniz Member Posts: 604
    This may sound obvious, but I would check the spare tire well to make sure everything is tight and jack and tools are secure.
  • nitromaxnitromax Member Posts: 640
    Hi guys, purchased my SEL 09/05/05. I Love this Car. I Named him Issy. Because of the SUV vs Wagon debates I've read. Is he a SUV, Is he a Wagon. Don't care what you call Issy, I Love it.


    What type of noise is it?
    creak? click? pop? thud?
  • dzdncnfzddzdncnfzd Member Posts: 34
    I would have them look at the rear breaks. One of the pads may be dragging and when you go over the uneven surface the wheel may lock up and then pop back into motion when you are back on a firm surface. This could be the same reason other people on the board are seeing a lot of break dust on the rear driver side rim.

    I'm about to order a Freestyle today and this makes me a little worried. :(

    This may be a chronic problem with Freestyles.
  • igot12igot12 Member Posts: 7
    The technician removed everything from the rear of the car. The noise is still there.
  • igot12igot12 Member Posts: 7
    It sounds more like a thud. When I first heard it I thought that the rear shoulder belts for the third row seats hit up against the side of the interior because I took the turn rather fast. The second time I heard it I was going at an average speed so it couldn't have been that.
  • igot12igot12 Member Posts: 7
    That is a thought, I'll have them check it out. I haven't noticed any noise from a dragging brake pad though. The technician did drive two other FS and the noise doesn't occur.
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Member Posts: 468
    I doubt that Ford will do anything until the Freestyle becomes a Mercury or whatever. In the Meantime, we got rid of the glare by placing a dark brown towel across the top of the entire dash. We are searching for an appropriate dash mat. IF it's not sunny, I just take it off. Not elegant, but it works.
  • nitromaxnitromax Member Posts: 640
    Have you tried imitating the noise by swerving back and forth? (try to do this in an unpopulated area)

    Just wondering if the thud could be the muffler bumping up against something.

    I would think the brakes would make more of a click or snapping sound if they are binding. (more metallic sounding)
  • volfangaryvolfangary Member Posts: 105
    I know this sounds crazy, but I had a van, not my Freestyle, that had a bottle inside the rear opening behind a panel inside hatch. When plastic panel was removed there was a big hollow area that went down low. It was in botton of "V". The dealer said that someone on the production line must have tossed it in there. It made a loud thud when going from one surface to another or going over a big bump. Did not notice it any other time. I bet I had that van in the shop ten times with 10 different mechanics trying to find source of sound. They also tore the rearend out and rebuilt it. All for a bottle! Might be worth a look in yours?
  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Member Posts: 1,106
    I've heard similar stories about objects like bricks being found in various parts of the body of cars. I suppose it happens.
  • cmunizcmuniz Member Posts: 604
    I understand that this is making you a little nervous, but I wouldn't call it a "cronic problem". Brake dust on the wheels is not a problem, but ocurs as brake pads wear. We don't know what the noise is, yet, and others are not reporting it so it is not common or cronic. There are many of us who are very happy with our Freestyle. Keep in mind that on these forums it is more common to talk about problems than it is to sing the praises, especially when it appears mysterious as this on does. Good luck in your new purchase - I think you will really like the car if it fits your needs.
  • igot12igot12 Member Posts: 7
    I tried to duplicate the noise but couldn't. It always seams to happen when I least expected it but it was always when turning onto or off of an uneven surface

    The technician has been able to duplicate the noise on every test run. He may be driving more erratically than I dare to. This is a relief. Now he knows there is a problem and is trying to solve it.

    I probably could live with the occasional noise but I didn't want a minor repair under warranty progressing into a major one out of warranty.

    I miss my Issy. :cry:
  • dzdncnfzddzdncnfzd Member Posts: 34
    The break dust does worry me because there have been several people who have observed it on the drivers side rear wheel. I understand break dust is normal, but when it is accumulating at a higher rate on one wheel (especially a rear wheel that handles a smaller percentage of the breaking) that tells me something is wrong.

    I went ahead and ordered last night anyway (FWD Limited). I have been researching a driving the car er um crossover vehicle and I love the versatility, space and gas mileage of the vehicle. I was dead set on the Highlander Hybrid but after driving it I was very disappointed in the size of the third row. By going with the Freestyle I saved about $5K, lost a little MPG (but not much) and gained a whole lot of usable space.
  • cmunizcmuniz Member Posts: 604
    I traded an 2002 Highlander for the Freestyle. While I liked the Highlander, I like the Freestyle more. More room, more versatility and it handles better. Acceleration and power are about the same, as is the mpg.
  • maymaymaymay Member Posts: 16
    I see a ton of Highlanders on the road, and though I never test drove one I wonder why. I climed around in one and climbed back out and ran away from the ultra pushy salesman (who was akin to Mr. Lundegard from the movie Fargo). It was a very nice car, seemed like it had decent cargo space, but two things killed it instantly for me: little legroom in back, and that blocky hinge on the 2nd row seat that hits you in the hip if you're larger than a 6 yr old. We often seat adults in the back, and riding with your hip on a big plastic hinge would make a lot of people hate me, I'm sure. The Freestyle just seems like it was designed with everyone in mind for every seat.

    This whole 'what do we call this vehicle' bit that I keep reading in articles about the car seems silly, as does these same people complaining that it's a wannabe SUV and should have more towing capacity. They all seem to miss that a ton of us who want the interior of an SUV don't have towing needs, or have another car already dedicated to that. This is a peoplemover, with tons of safety, comfort, cubbies and cupholders, and elbowroom and legroom for all.

    Vehicles with this hip-height entry are bound to be extremely popular when the baby boom generation ages. Sedans are so low it's sometimes hard to get up, and you mostly have to fall into your seat. SUV's are too high for older people to climb into. The Freestyle is just right :)
  • vicenacvicenac Member Posts: 229
    I love my FS but I am beginning to "collect" burning spots on my knees, elbows and arms. It seems that the texture of the dash and door plastic is like sand paper. Anyone - same problem?

    Also brakes - noisy at low speeds before stopping and when leaving from stand still (like you can leave from being in motion!!!). It't like a Hhrrrr.
    And when driving at low speeds I can hear a hiss that changes with speed. Shifting into N did not change the noise. Could my brakes be dragging????? No break dust.
  • davidgolfdavidgolf Member Posts: 3
    I have a FWD Freestyle and the whole family (myself, wive, three teenage boys and a large Labrador) love it. I like everything except the blind spots when backing up. There are 7,200 km on it now and highway mileage, with a full load is 31.9 mpg, which I feel is prety good.
    Getting to the noise- it was mentioned to me by a mechanic at my dealer that I should watch for (listen) any "noise" the frame as the frame is basically a Volvo and they have lots ot rubber bushings that could rub and move and make noise. Have your guy check them out.
    Good luck. :)
  • nitromaxnitromax Member Posts: 640
    The hissing noise is just the flux capacitor charging worries.

    A slight hissing noise is normal from the brakes. When there is no hydraulic force squeezing the brake pads against the rotors, the pads are basically riding right along the surface of the rotor and may make a slight hissing noise.
    As long as you don't see an abundance of brake dust there shouldn't be a problem.
  • puckyhuddlepuckyhuddle Member Posts: 52
    I had the same noise from my rear brakes. Just before a complete stop and then starting again. Dealer lubed the cables, and did something to the parking brake - changed a bushing or something, and glazed? the rotors. He said there was a TSB about it. Seems to have gone away. I can dig out the service receipt if you want more specifics.
  • dzdncnfzddzdncnfzd Member Posts: 34
    Sounds as if your parking break was hanging up. This could explain why some people are complaining of an unusual amount of break dust on the drivers side rear wheel.

    I'm glad to here there is a TSB on it. Do you know the TSB number?
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,989
    If you have the TSB number for a hanging emergency brake that might be why my rear wheels have a lot of brake dust.
  • maymaymaymay Member Posts: 16
    Feeling mighty inept here, but can someone tell me how to get the screw off the battery compartment on the headphones? And don't say "unscrew it" :P I already did that.

    The manual shows a slide off battery cover, and these have covers that have a narrower cover and are locked with a screw. The screw doesn't come out, but I can feel that it's unscrewed as far as it will go, and it rattles when held upside down and just spins around loose. Go to slide the cover off, and it catches on the end of the screw and won't come off.

    I didn't even want the DVD player, but now I love it and want to try out the headphones (which btw they forgot to give me and I had to drive down and pick them up, apparently they're programmed to work with just one car).
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